• Hotel Savoy

Director and ProducerZohar Wagner (”Zorki”, ”Doll”, ”Stretch Marks”, ”A Tale of Two”, ”21 Days inside”) / Israel 2022

Genre: Hybrid Film / Fiction-Docu

Category: Action / Women’s Discrimination / Mediation / History / Terrorism / Israel-Palestine Conflict / Middle-East

Co-Producers: Dorit Hakim-Kramer, Itay Akirav

Produced for Kan Israeli Public Broadcast Corporation (IPBC)
Coproduced with ARTE/RBB, Germany

* The film was acquired by Netflix Israel

Cast: Dana Ivgy, Ala Dakka (”Fauda”), Imri Biton, Jalal Masrwa, Nehad Rada
Language: Hebrew, Arabic

Subtitles: English, French

Length: 78 minutes

In a new hybrid documentary, fiction-docu film, Zohar Wagner tells the story the deadly 1975 Hotel Savoy terror attack in Tel Aviv from the perspective of a forgotten heroine.

Filmmaker Zohar Wagner tells the story of Kochava Levy, a young woman of Yemeni descent, who served as mediator between PLO terrorists and the IDF while being held hostage in Tel Aviv – during the night of the deadly 1975 Hotel Savoy terror attack. Over the course of one night, she transformed herself into a fearless heroine. The film intertwines rare archival materials that were never released as well as re-enacted scenes from the night of the attack.

read more

Festivals & Awards:

Jury's statement: JFF 2022: Israeli Documentary Competition: Best Director Award:

“A combination of fascinating documentary footage and excellent scripted scenes, recreating a tragic historical event and reestablishes a brave woman’s reputation.”

Jury's statement: JFF 2022: Israeli Competition: Best Editing Award (Nili Feller and Shauly Melamed):

“The editing skillfully blends the real and the imaginary, and maintains dynamism and a steady rhythm throughout the film.”


Movie Reviews:

* « It perfectly combines professional and amateur archives, snippets of television news programs with staging, keeping the viewer tense from start to finish. » Krzysztof Gierat, Director of Krakow Film Festival

* « This is a very good film. A must see at SBIFF. » SAVOY Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2023 / Steve Kopian / Unseen Films

* « If you’re interested in women’s stories told honestly, then you should absolutely see Savoy. Zohar Wagner gives Kochava Levy the biopic she deserves. Please check the documentary out as soon as possible.» SAVOY / Lorry Kikta / Film Threat

* « Nearly 50 years later, Zohar Wagner’s film serves to set the record straight, ensuring that Levy is no longer a footnote. Utilizing a synchronistic blend of archival footage, audio recordings, news reports, journal entries and reenactments, this engrossing film reframes the fateful night in 1975 from the perspective of its forgotten heroine. » SAVOY / San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

* « The film is exceptionally good. There were many hostage incidents that were more ambiguous and those tend to be forgotten. The fascinating new docudrama by Zohar Wagner, Savoy, looks at one such complicated siege that took place in 1975. Wagner has chosen to tell this story from many interesting angles and it is the opposite of a straightforward TV movie-type film. Savoy also raises interesting questions about ethnicity, class and stereotypes, and will make you think about what has and hasn’t changed in the past few decades. » Thought-provoking ‘Savoy’ examines Tel Aviv hotel siege in 1975 / Hannah Brown / Jerusalem Post
* « Zohar Wagner's film work stands as a monument to the memory of Kochava Levy and is built in her image: brave, poetic, liberated and knows exactly what she is doing. Wagner is building up the tension and describing the drama, and also puts emphasis on the human design of the characters, including the terrorists, and especially on framing this story within a political and social context. »
Savoy is "Die Hard" with a gender and ethnic consciousness / Avner Shavit / E-Walla (hebrew)
* « The dramatic reenactments and the archival footage are complemented by audio recordings from the night of the attack, captured on tape by a recording enthusiast who was behind the hotel during the incident. Pieced together, they paint a picture of a young woman who attempted to save lives by connecting to her kidnappers on a human level. » The forgotten heroine of the deadly 1975 Savoy Hotel terror attack / Amy Spiro / Times of Israel
* « Dans son nouveau docufiction, la réalisatrice Zohar Wagner raconte l'histoire de Cochava Levy, l'une des otages de l’attaque terroriste de l’hôtel Savoy à Tel Aviv en 1975, qui a joué le rôle d’intermédiaire entre les preneurs d’otages et Tsahal. » CULTURE | "Savoy": l’héroïne oubliée de l’attaque terroriste de l’hôtel Savoy à Tel Aviv/ Valérie Abecassis / i24news (Français)


Director's Statement:
''Savoy'' is a film about a woman who faced a horrible bloody situation and fearlessly communicated with armed enemies, exercising feminine empathy, compassion, and wisdom. And yet, she was never awarded and only condemned. Being reluctant to tell the truth - what was she doing at the day use hotel - the next day journalists reported that Kohava Levy was a prostitute entertaining a client at the hotel. "Time" magazine described her as: "A petite, black-haired prostitute who picked up some Arabic in the streets." More strict standards of sexual behavior are applied to a woman than to a man. We tend to forgive a man who cheated on his wife, especially if he was a brave soldier, but we do not excuse a traitorous woman. Kohava is a complex, multi-layered heroine. She betrayed her husband and as a result, became entangled in endless lies.